Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween 2016

I phoned it in this year with a full body shark costume from Target. People seemed to like it though so maybe I should continue on my path of laziness. Lydia was a hipster mermaid.

Our posse first made an appearance at the outdoor Halloween street party thing in the Central West End. They really know how to do Halloween over there. 

Next we headed over to Katie's place in Belleville, Illinois for a WICKED house party. See what I did there?

Lastly Steph licked this severed finger. The end.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Southern Livin'

This weekend we went down to Nashville to visit Lydia's family.

We all had ourselves a time at the Nashville Flea Market at The Fairgrounds Nashville. They consider themselves one of the top ten flea markets in the country. 

Lydia made the mistake of letting me buy something. I thought it was pretty cool. She doesn't realize that now she's going to have to watch a probably really terrible Technicolor cowboy movie with me now. Poor girl.

Back at the ranch the neighborhood was having a Fall Festival.

I thought it was funny that the subdivision's "club house" is probably nicer than any real house I've ever lived in.

Lydia and I stopped in Paducah, KY on the way home for a little dinner. Flamingo Row was a Caribbean themed place that was surprisingly fun.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Picked a Peck of Pumpkins

Today a big crew of us went out to Braeutigam Orchards near Belleville, Illinois for some pumpkin picking. We were initially thinking about going back to Eckert's like we did for peaches but it was decided that that place would be too crowded. Let me tell you Braeutigam's had a few people at it as well.

The Braeutigam Orchards website says that the farm has been in the family since 1831 and they are now on their eighth generation of berry pushers.

We got some exotic-to-me variety of squash called sweet dumpling. They were sort of like acorn squash but were white on the outside, smaller, and sweeter.

They were selling pumpkin and apple cider donuts and I just couldn't decide so I didn't.

After seeing this sign I'm a little concerned about what type of fruit-shy monster is lurking in the woods of southern Illinois.

The fields were a lot more varied than I had imagined. There were all sorts of weird specimens out there. They were like heirloom pumpkins.

Our character was tested out in the fields that day. Even some of the best of us succumbed to pumpkin greed.

Some of Katie's family was in attendance.

I stole this picture from Katie's Facebook page. Sorry not sorry.

I tried to tell the gang that I had just been to a winery tour yesterday but they were like "no we're going to this winery and if you don't drink some we're going to kick a puppy." I had no choice.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Biking Through Missouri Wine Country

Today we went biking down the Katy Trail State Park between Defiance and Augusta, Missouri with Joel and Wing. This is wine country which provided plenty of opportunities to stop for wine breaks. 

The Katy Trail is a beast. It is 240 miles long and runs along what used to be the route of the the former Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad. Wikipedia: "The nickname "Katy" comes from the phonetic pronunciation of 'KT' in the railroad's abbreviated name, MKT."

I don't like wearing hats but apparently the sun, which gives life to every creature on the earth, is also trying to kill me personally with its evil, evil rays. I'm showing my displeasure by letting this hat get as dirty and disgusting as possible. Take that, heavens!

We had some initial technical difficulties with renting the bikes, and when we finally got a hold of a couple the lady at the shop just told us to take them. No paperwork, or ID/deposit, or really even getting our name and phone number. I thought that this was some quaint small town charm but we found out later that the lady was just an overwhelmed temp and that's not how things were supposed to work.

The weather was gorgeous so everyone and their mom was also out on the trail and at the wineries. We were still able to get served and find tables wherever we stopped though, so no big deal.

It was at the Yellow Farmhouse Winery in Defiance, MO that Joel revealed a terrifying secret. He'd only had wine a few times prior to today. Oh hell no. We had an emergency wine tasting.

We lucked out and our tasting was led by the owner of Yellow Farmhouse, Dale Rollings. This guy not only knew everything about the wines, but would digress onto these awesome tangents about the ice ages' effect on the earth in Missouri which made it perfect for grapes, prohibition, and sailing a boat all over the world. He was generally just an awesome dude that I would like to be one of these days. The wines all seemed to have cool names with backstories. This Compass Rose rosé is named after his favorite bar in San Francisco.

Wines were drank, bikes were biked.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Private Kitchen Then Snow Factory

The Seagos had been raving about Private Kitchen for some time and the four of us finally organized a trip over there. The restaurant is a husband and wife duo, with Lawrence Chen cooking and Emily taking care of the front of the operation. You have to make reservations ahead of time, even for lunch, and you have to order at the time of your reservation. I don't think they even have a website, and the only place to find their menu was on their Facebook page. Private Kitchen indeed.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that the chopstick holders read "private chicken".

I was most excited about the Peking Duck, and it was amazing. It came with little steamed buns that you could make a little duck taco with.

Our resident ice cream connoisseur Lydia suggested a new thai-style ice cream spot on the Delmar Loop called Snow Factory. It was quite an event, and was super busy.

Being a giant Japan nerd I had no choice but to choose ujikintoki which was a green tea flavored ice cream base with red beans chopped up and mixed in. 

So they pour the ingredients and then spread them out on a presumably really cold thing causing it to firm up.

Then they scrape it off into rolls.

I chose the toppings that I believe the samurai of old also ate on their ice cream: cherries, lychee, and gummy bears with an American flag on top.

I'm digging the cool yeti-looking mascot they have. At the end of the day I'm glad I checked this place out because both the process and the product are very entertaining, but I think taste-wise I prefer the classic Froyo situation.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

The Debate Strikes Back

We invited the Seagos to another debate viewing party, this time at Saint Louis University. This debate was especially fun because it was held at Washington University, also in St. Louis. I really hope the next election regains a bit of decorum.

On our drive to Saint Louis University, while on the highway, I noticed a large amount of emergency vehicles approaching very quickly with their lights on but not their sirens. There were a few police cars, some police motorcycles, and at least one ambulance. They were in every lane and approaching very quickly. One police car was really riding me and I didn't know what to do about it. I didn't want to speed up and be breaking the law, so I considered just pulling over on the side of the highway to get away from this person. Luckily we reached our exit and I could escape these maniacs. I assume it was part of the convoy for one of the presidential candidates. It was intense.